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Personal Appearance Paper, PCA/ACA Conference

4010 Fat Studies: Fat bodies “In the Flesh” and “At Play”
Session Chair Julia McCrossin, The George Washington University
PCA/ACA National Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 31 – April 3, 2010

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ABSTRACT
In Personal Appearance, a custom-built professional mascot costume allows me to travel the world making personal appearances, as myself. My manifestation as a cuddly cartoon character functions to erase social barriers, encouraging physical contact and the building of emotional bonds. While the audience’s guard is down, Personal Appearance engages the notion of fatness, addressing the lived reality of taboo bodies in spaces made for the socio-normative body, and encouraging discussions on the nature of size, beauty, acceptance, accommodation and accessibility.